The Devil Smiles

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The devil smiles when there’s quarreling and arguing within our churches. Nothing makes him happier than to hear one sister or brother in Christ trash another. The results of this behavior are conflict and hurt feelings. It’s hard to demonstrate a loving attitude towards those people we know who are not Christians when the Christians themselves can’t get along with each other.

     This type of fighting is sin! It must stop if the church is to be an effective witness to Christ’s love. But why do we divide the body of Christ? 1 Corinthians 3:3, tells us that we’re controlled by our sinful natures. Almost every divisive argument in the body of Christ is rooted in selfish motivations that seek power over the direction of the church. We who yell the loudest sometimes use God’s Word as a cover-up to hide our desire for power.

Our sinful natures want to control others. Before some of us met Jesus, in our former “street lives” we would manipulate people with our charms, or position or our money. Let’s not use God’s Word to bend people to our way of thinking. This is wrong and sinful.

The Bible offers us the blueprint for daily interactions.  We must imitate the humility of Christ, considering others to be better than ourselves and loving others with patience and kindness (see Philippians 2 and 1 Corinthians 13). If these traits are part of our character, we can discuss differences of opinion without damaging our relationships. Humility and love will prevail. Disunity will fade away. We will unite and be a strong, integrated Christian front to society and the non-believers in our circle of influence. Only then will we get on with the task of representing Jesus to the world in a loving and effective manner.

Jim Vogelzang